Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thinking About Mummies

After an extended weekend due to two snow days, I was back in the classroom. One of my favorite activities this year is volunteering with the homework help group at the middle school. The one-to-one aspect allows me to help students really understand the why, so they can consistently implement the how, especially in math. This week, I also had the opportunity to observe how peer discussion can get the brain's wheels spinning.

I was sitting with a 5th and 6th grader, and the 6th grader was working with the BBC's Mummy Maker at Discovery Kids - http://kids.discovery.com/fansites/tutenstein/mummymaker/mummymaker.html . He commented about using a hook to stir up the brains, and the 5th grader was hooked as well. The next step was to remove vital organs. The instructions said that one must remain to help the person reach the afterlife. A clue revealed that the conscience lived in that organ. The boys expressed their thoughts in conversation. The 5th grader said he thought it was the heart because it is the source of feelings about right and wrong. The 6th grader added that it might be the stomach because of the feeling you get in your stomach when you do something wrong. He opted to try the stomach and discovered heart was the correct answer. I was again reminded of the importance of letting students learn by sharing thoughts with peers.

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